Dixon hopes to make her mark

Alyson Dixon.
Alyson Dixon.
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SUNDERLAND Stroller Alyson Dixon will boost her hopes of Commonwealth Games marathon selection when she competes in the World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen on Saturday.

She joins Leeds City athlete Susan Partridge on the plane for Denmark after qualifying for the GB squad in the Reading Half Marathon on March 2.

Strong winds prevented the 35-year-old from beating her personal best of 71min 19sec from last year’s Bath half marathon, recording 73.07 for third place at Reading.

She had high hopes of dipping below the 71 minute mark after returning from a four-week high altitude training trip to Kenya. But it was not to be. saying: “I knew by three miles that the conditions were against me.’’

Now she has another opportunity in Denmark to beat her target time and get closer to the UK best for the year of 72.18, set by Partridge in Reading.

She has been polishing-up her speedwork for Copenhagen with track sessions at Silksworth and Saturday morning Parkruns. Over the last couple of weeks she clocked 17.08 and last week 16.55. Her best stands at 16.46.

The self-coached Dixon has decided to sit out April’s London Marathon and rely on her 2.31.08 from Brighton last year to gain selection for the England team for the Commonwealth Games. She and Winchester’s Louise Damen – 2.32.21 in the Osaka Marathon in Japan in January – are the only two athletes to have dipped under the 2.35.00 qualifying time so far. Three athletes will be selected for Glasgow.

She admits it will be a big gamble but she said that she is confident that her 2.31 will take some beating. One place will go to the winner of the London Marathon - as long as she runs the qualifying time.

She added: “I will have my fingers crossed, as there will be pacemakers in the race.’’

Dixon will still be travelling to London for the marathon - but in a different role. She has volunteered to be one of the North East team managers for the mini marathons.

H Sunderland Harriers’ cross country grand prix came to an end at the North East League final fixture at Wrekenton on Saturday. Paul Redman retained his title and for the first time a woman finished in the top five and among the prizes. Final standings: 1 Paul Redman 61pts, 2 Dean Phillips 57, 3 David Savage 56, 4 Peter Richardson 51, 5 Helen Higgins 49, 6 Aimee Richardson 45, 7 Tony Allinson 43, 8 Susan Clughen 43, 9 Steven Gordon 41, 10 Matthew Fearn 37

H Houghton Harriers have five athletes finishing in the top six of the North East Harrier League grand prix final standings. They are under-13 Girls - 4 Lily Hardie and 6th is her twin Eva, Under-13 Boys - 2 Jamie Reed, Under-15 Boys- 2 Alex Brown, Under-17/20 Women 5 - Eleanor Daglish. Durham City Harrier Chloe Price topped this group.

H Hartlepool Burn Road Harriers have put up the sold out signs for their Marina 5- mile road race on Sunday. They have received over 500 entries.

H Wallsend Harriers stage their Terry O’Gara Memorial 5k road race on Sunday (11.00am). Race limited to 500. Changing facilities: Limited facilities at Segedunum Visitor Centre from 9.15am .